USA

More lines at the polls as New Yorkers endure dreary weather to vote early

New Yorkers again stood in long lines amid dreary and blustery weather Friday morning to cast their ballots in the upcoming November election, taking advantage of new extended hours for early voting.

Umbrella-wielding voters on the Upper West Side stood in a queue that stretched for blocks, from inside of the West Side High School at Amsterdam Avenue and 102nd Street to the corner of Columbus Avenue and 104th Street.

“I’ve come by a few days in a row, but today, because I guess the weather is not very good, the line is a little shorter. All my friends who had voted said it was three hours, so today it’s more like an hour and a half,” said Mindy Kaufman, a flutist for the New York Philharmonic.

She had waited on line with her umbrella and folding chair for a little over an hour — and was near the front door — by the time she spoke The Post, around 11 a.m.

“I am excited to vote. I just want to get it over with,” the 63-year-old added. “I know I can vote Tuesday, but I feel like I want to get it done I just don’t want to wait.”

It was the first day of extended hours for early voting across the city after the Board of Elections ordered polling spots to open at 7 a.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to try to handle the massive demand amidst the coronavirus pandemic and a hard-fought presidential election.

Mindy Kaufman
Mindy KaufmanRobert Miller

The massive demand exacerbated key shortcomings in the BOE’s planning for early voting revealed Wednesday by a Post investigation — including failures to properly allocate equipment based on demand and stuffing so many voters into polling sites the electronic poll book system could not keep up.

Even Mayor Bill de Blasio got stuck in one of the resulting hours-long lines outside of his early polling site in Brooklyn on Tuesday.

Thirty-year-old artist Mackenzie Rogers said it was a “relief” that the line Friday morning was less than two hours long as she waited outside for her husband to finish voting after casting her own ballot.

Voting line on the Upper West Side
The voting line is seen here along Amsterdam Ave. into W 101st St.Robert Miller

“It helps if you come with a friend or a spouse, as in this case. It got pretty brutal at the end,” Rodgers added. “How did we manage? A lot of jokes, woke up this morning, had some hot coffee, and I guess mainly trying to be positive, trying to remember why we’re here. Umbrellas, warm coffee. It’s an honor to vote, so that helps.”

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